Is cutting bridge tolls the right move for B.C.?
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 16, 2017,
Apr 16, 2017, 1:32
"If homeowners can have a homeowner grant, renters should be able to have a grant as well". In Vancouver, the median rate was $1,661.
A speculation tax of two per cent is predicted to raise $200 million a year and apply to all property owners who don't pay income tax in B.C.
Lower costs but better jobs and services - that was NDP leader John Horgan's motto as he kicked off his party's provincial election campaign in Surrey on Sunday.
In March, the government changed the tax to exempt several thousand worldwide residents on provincial work permits and agreed to provide refunds to some people who had already paid the tax. "Getting rid of MSP premiums, putting the brakes on hydro until we can sort out the mess that they've made of hydro, giving an annual rental credit of $400 ... those things actually help people who are struggling", he said. "In year one we're going to do that, in year two and three we have to see what the Liberals have left behind us, it's fully costed".
However, Clark said Horgan's proposal shows the New Democrats are "flying by the seat of their pants" and lack a clear plan.
Horgan says a New Democrat government would revamp the Residential Tenancy Act to make it more accessible, and also address the problem of "renovictions", where landlords use renovations as an excuse to evict tenants and sidestep restrictions around rent increases.
The NDP would begin increasing carbon tax on fuels starting in 2019, two years before Premier Christy Clark has said she would resume increases to keep pace with the federal government mandate for nation-wide carbon pricing. "That's not how you build strong communities or confidence in public services", Horgan said.
She called the firm that employs about 65 engineers and scientists an example of "a homegrown B.C. tech success story".
Horgan responded to criticisms relating to the $400-a-year rebate for renters in B.C. In response to a critique from BC Liberal leader Christy Clark saying the credit would go to wealthy tenants of high-end apartments in downtown Vancouver, Horgan said those tenants would be "such a modest number".
"Our new spends on capital will lead to a one per cent increase in our debt-to-GDP ratio, which will still leave us in the same league as Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba". "Every single sector of the economy really matters".